Book Review Essays

How to write a Book Review

Students frequently get the assignment to write a book review in different subjects. Actually, they often like such task, especially when the book they need to critically review is interesting to read. A book review helps professors to evaluate how well students have understood the material from the book as well as how well they can critically discuss and analyze them. Before starting to write such paper, you should make sure you know the difference between a book review and a book report: the former entails book critique and evaluation of the narration, topic, author’s mastery in writing, etc. while the latter merely summarizes the book and discusses its main key points. This article comprises short tips on how to structure your book review.

Preparing a Book Review

1.Start with an introductory paragraph.

Start with providing background information on what book exactly your review is about and what topic you are writing critique on. Make sure your introduction corresponds to the assignment prompt given by your professor (if any was given to you). Carefully check on whether you need to use some secondary sources apart from the primary source you are reviewing. If yes, make sure to find credible sources that are adjacent to the area you are reflecting on. In case you should use only your primary source and focus merely on the book you had to read, identify the author, mention the full title, indicate what is the main topic or problem that is addressed in the book, and what was the author’s aim in providing this book. Sometimes you might get a task to review a few books that are related to some extensive topic studied and discussed in class. If you get such assignment, make sure to select appropriate books that are related to the topic in the best way.

Afterwards provide brief analysis and explanations of relationship between the books if you are reviewing two or more of them. Discuss how they are related, what they have in common, whether they discuss the central issue from the same perspective or whether they have opposing standpoints. It is necessary to point out such details when providing a review.

Finally, at the end of the introduction, you should clearly state your personal position on the book(s) as a reader. This position should be well formulated as a thesis statement.

2.In the process of writing answer the following questions:

a)What is the type or genre of the book: it is a biography? An extended argument? A memoir? A collection of facts?

b)Who is the author? What is his/ her purpose of writing? What message does he/ she convey? Is the book a credible source for using it in academic research? What are the author’s credentials? From what standpoint does he approach the topic (as a researcher/ a journalist/ a doctor, etc.)?

c)How does the problem addressed in the book relate to the specific area of studying? How does this book relate to the other books you are reviewing (if you are reviewing more than two)?

d)What is your critical analysis? What position do you take? Do you agree or disagree with the author?

3.Provide an overview.

The function of the overview that should be included in the introduction is to make the reader understand the issue and its background. An overview will also help the reader better comprehend the points that you will address in the body paragraphs.

The overview entails a brief description of how your paper will develop and how it will be structured. When writing an overview, take into consideration the following questions:

As you write, consider the following questions:

What theme does the author evokes? What is his/ her main message and aim of writing? Does he/ she provide sufficient information for the reader to understand the issue/ problem?

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